Genzyme enters takeover talks with Sanofi
GENZYME, the drugmaker which employs 450 people in Waterford, has apparently begun takeover talks with Sanofi-Aventis after receiving a proposal from the French drugmaker.
Sanofi, based in Paris, outlined an offer of $67 (€50) to $70 a share in a letter to the board of Genzyme, the world's largest maker of medicines for genetic diseases.
Genzyme's shareholders are said to be looking for a bid above $80 per share, or $21.3bn (€16.1bn).
Sanofi needs takeovers to help replace revenue it will lose as its medicines face competition from generic drugs.
The drugmaker, the largest in France, cut its 2010 earnings forecast after US regulators approved a generic rival to its Lovenox blood thinner.
Shares in the Massachusetts-based company were up slightly in Nasdaq Stock Market composite trading. Sanofi declined €0.04 to €45.37 in Paris.
Genzyme chief executive Henri Termeer said in June that the company wasn't for sale. Genzyme is focused on fixing manufacturing defects that cut into sales of its biggest products, Mr Termeer said.
Genzyme has five new drugs in the third and final stage of testing typically required for marketing approval by the US Food and Drug Administration, according to the company's website. These include a new therapy for Gaucher's disease, two biosurgery products, a cholesterol drug, and a stem-cell treatment for graft vs. host disease.
The three most important trials are the new Gaucher's disease drug, the cholesterol drug, and a trial for blood cancer drug Campath in multiple sclerosis, wrote analyst Geoffrey Porges, in a note to investors . They are all likely to come to market in the next 18 to 24 months, Porges wrote. (Bloomberg)